Clarity recently attended and sponsored Corinium’s CDO Insurance event in New York City, where the conversation centered on the validity of the Chief Data Officer role within organizations, particularly where it concerned their ability to provide overall business cohesiveness. Discussions often focused on the aspirations of the insurance industry to build and leverage data and analytics teams, headed by the CDO/CAO, to provide essential business insights and overall market gain.
What resonated most for the Clarity team, however, were when those conversations focused on the need for the Insurance industry (with CDOs in the lead) to instill a data driven culture in their organization by embracing the techniques needed to drive business results and overcoming resistance to change.
In her keynote presentation: Putting the ‘C’ into ‘CDO’ – Realizing Organizational Change Through Strategic Leadership, Katie Meyers, CDO for Farmers Insurance, identified techniques required to promote change in Insurance organizations. This included the fact that business engagement is key to success. The “field of dreams” approach to business stakeholder engagement no longer applies to data and analytics. Our experience from working with numerous clients in the insurance industry has also shown that the most successful analytic initiatives are business led and IT enabled.
A secondary theme put forth by Ms. Meyers is that Insurance companies struggle with data governance. With the new generation of open source technologies, data governance has re-emerged as an important theme at many companies. At Clarity Insights, however, we see that across several industries, companies find managing their analytic data assets a challenge . A comprehensive and flexible data governance strategy should be established with a keen focus on metadata management.
Ms. Meyers also mentioned “winning the culture war”, which of course ties into the above theme and ‘why’ companies struggle with analytic initiatives: instilling a data-driven culture into your organization is essential. Fostering a sense of community within the organization will provide a connected unit, giving your company the upperhand. The data scientists and the analysts may be dispersed across an organization, and it only benefits the company if a connection and bond is created between them to share learnings.
The amount of data now available to the Insurance industry is exponential and it could (according to the CDO Insurance website) “...provide a substantial competitive advantage to a repertoire of key insurance functions”. However, to achieve this, companies need a data-driven culture. The role of the CDO is to facilitate the connection between data and business value, creating the underlying infrastructure and behavior that supports that culture.
Click here to see how Clarity helps companies create data driven cultures.